Personal Care and Grooming Become a Big Business

Just a few generations ago, there was no personal care or grooming industry. Beyond some soaps, powders and oils, people had little to choose from for grooming products. Men had straight razors if they chose and women had combs.

There were none of the products that now fill our retail store shelves until the late 1800s. That has changed because of a number of factors. The change has created a society that is now obsessed with the issue of personal appearance and grooming. We spend countless hours and endless billions on the care of our bodies and hair.

Science has played a big role in making all this change a reality. A detailed understanding of the human body and subjects like biology and chemistry resulted from the work of the 1700s and 1800s. This knowledge produced new and innovative grooming products.

The art and science of marketing began to create the mass consumer markets and an industry was born. Consumers cannot imagine going a single day without some products that did not even exist as recently as fifty years ago. There were no deodorants until Mum came to the market in 1888. It was a simple product that was an immediate hit. Today, amazingly effective products with names like Degree adrenaline deodorants & antiperspirants and invisible solid deodorant hardly get a yawn despite millions spent on advertising for them.

All of this research and marketing has created an amazing number of facts, numbers and tips that are a part of the world of personal grooming. Here are a few random things to reflect upon next time you are sitting and letting your clarifying shampoo do its job.


• The average person has 100,000 to 120,000 strands of hair in their scalp
• There are about 5 million hair follicles over the human body. Every follicle we will ever have is in our skin when we are born
• At least 30 to 100 strands of hair are lost every day
• The part of hair we see is dead protein
• Hair is so strong that if the scalp could handle it, the combined strands of hair could support 35 tons
• Hair grows about six inches a year. However, the total hair fibers produced daily average over 35 feet
• A strand of hair is 12 to 15% water
• Fifty percent of all women color their hair
• The average woman will spend $50,000 on hair care and product for hair over her lifetime


• Skin is the largest organ of the human body
• There are between 3 to 4 million sweat glands on the human body
• Billions of bacteria live on the surface of the human body
• From 1 to 3% of all people have a medical condition causing excess sweating and extreme personal body odor
• 95% of the population uses a deodorant every day

Personal Care Industry

• Over 3,000 new products came from just by the leading manufacturers from 2001 to 2006
• The global market for grooming products exceeds $50 billion a year
• Americans spend over $1.6 billion each year on deodorants and antiperspirants
• There are over now 800 separate categories of health care products

These are some amazing numbers about an industry that did not exist just a few decades ago.

Personal Care & Grooming by the Numbers